Three Prose Poems by Louella Lester

Stopped on Bridge

Everything stopped—cop’s car/citizen’s car/loud music playing through a cracked window/the joint flicked into a strip of muddy water along the curb. Well—not everything—some things kept moving though they did slow down—cars going the same direction/cars going the opposite direction/pedestrians crossing the bridge/the airplane circling for a landing but too far up for its pilot to really take in the drama unfolding down below. And some things turned—cop car’s blue light/cop’s head as he got out of his vehicle/cop’s head again as he spoke to the driver/turn signal of a car waiting to change lanes/heads in a passing bus/heads of pedestrians/the heads of the pigeons squatting on streetlights lining the sidewalk. Reassurance came from—driver’s hand as it reached to pull the car registration from behind the visor/passenger’s hand blocking the light from spoiling her view/pedestrian’s hand as it tucked a lock of hair behind his ear/the cop’s hand as it touched something hanging from his belt

Girls on Bridge

Rarely alone always following some guys some guys following them you know how it is. Things change clothing vocabulary hair but you still recognize them now you then your friends. They might be on this bridge that bus in someone else’s car giggling talking over one another shouting silly phrases. They might want it sort of not at all cigarettes beer dope the kisses the rubbing the in and out. It’s always one shy-quiet one swagger-confident one posturing-vacillating as she runs her hand along the rails that keep girls from falling into the river on purpose by accident you know how it is.

Bike On Bridge

He’s always liked this bridge even when people were whining about their tax dollars and the cost of the big sail-like structure on top. He peddles faster and switches gears. Over the years he’s argued about such things saying he’d sometimes give up lunch if it meant there’d be beauty in the world. He slows down and the bike begins to wobble. To him the wind playing on the bridge has always sounded like music and he wonders why he can’t hear the cables sing today. He pulls over and sits. Now he feels the weight of the bolt cutters in his backpack and he considers the splash they would make if he threw them over the rail right now. Then he shrugs and continues on his way.

Louella Lester is a writer and amateur photographer in Winnipeg, Canada. Her work has appeared in Spelk, Reflex Fiction, Flash Fiction North, Microfiction Monday Magazine, Vallum, Fewer Than 500, Prairie Fire, Lemon Hound, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, The Antigonish Review, CBC News Manitoba Online, and in the anthology Gush: menstrual manifestos for our times (Frontenac House, 2018).

Three women dancing in an alleyway with lightbulbs for heads
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